Impure Frog Spirits
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Impure Frog Spirits (Revelation 16.12-13)

"The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East. Then I saw three impure [or "unclean"] spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet." (Revelation 16.12-13)✞

Unholy Trinity

Green Frog on LeafAccording to this passage, three evil impure frog spirits emerged from each of the three mouths of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. In the Greek, there is a play on words here. The frog spirits came out of the mouths of the evil forces. The mouth is the organ of speech which is obviously one of the most powerful forces in the world either for good or for evil. What is said and how we say it is tremendously important and can hurt or encourage other people.

Spirit Breath

Unholy TrinityThe Greek word for "spirit" is "pneuma" which means "to breath". We hear this in the word "pneumatic" connected to a "tire filled with air." The equivalent Latin word is "spiritus" or "spirare" and the Hebrew word is "ruach" which in itself sounds like the air being breathed out. To say, therefore, that an evil spirit came out of a person's mouth was the same as saying that a word was given which was intended for evil. The dragon, the beast, and the false prophet "breathed forth evil influences," wrote H. B. Swete (1835-1917) the English Biblical scholar "like the three frogs, an unholy trinity."

Plague of Frogs

Plagues of EgyptFrog spirits were often connected with plagues. One of the ten plagues in Egypt was a plague of frogs. We read in Psalm 78.45, "He (God) sent swarms of flies that devoured them, and frogs that devastated them." Frogs were impure creatures according to the Jewish Law and as such the eating of them was strictly prohibited. Although not mentioned by name, frogs were implied in the list of unclean things in the water and the seas which were not permitted as food by the Jews as they had no scales. Leviticus 11.10 says, "But all creatures in the seas or streams that do not have fins and scales — whether among all the swarming things or among all the other living creatures in the water — you are to regard as unclean."

Meaningless Croaks

Frogs on Lily PadsCroaking frogs were also especially disliked for their annoying and continuous noise. The sound a frog made was like meaningless speech. To say that frog spirits "came out of the mouth of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet" was to say that their words were meaningless as well as impure and harmful.✞

"Impure Frog Spirits"
by Ron Meacock © 2017

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